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Sleeping with the One I Love

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"Sleeping with the One I Love"
A black-and-white image of a woman in a low-cut dress who is leaning against a window. The artist's name and the single's title are also included on the image.
Single by Fantasia
from the album The Definition Of...
Released May 26, 2016
Format Digital download
Recorded 2015
Studio Kennedy Compound (Hollywood) and Faircraft Studios (Brentwood)
Genre
Length 5:03
Label
Songwriter(s) R. Kelly
Producer(s) R. Kelly
Fantasia singles chronology
"No Time for It"
(2016) No Time for It2016
"Sleeping with the One I Love"
(2016) Sleeping with the One I Love2016
"When I Met You"
(2017) When I Met You2017

"Sleeping with the One I Love" is a song recorded by American recording artist Fantasia for her fifth studio album, The Definition Of... (2016). Written and produced by R. Kelly, it was released on May 26, 2016 as the album's second single. Fantasia recorded the track as a way to expand her "rock soul" sound, which she had introduced on her previous release Side Effects of You (2013). She also used the song, and the album as a whole, to assert more creative control over her career.

A soul and blues ballad, its lyrics revolve around a woman's search for love, while being torn between her boyfriend and her lover. Media outlets had varying interpretations of the song's genre and content, with several attributing it as an example of soul and blues and describing it as containing jazz influences. Inspired by her past, Fantasia recorded the track to express her gratitude for getting through her past, negative relationships to grow as a person and form a more healthy romance. Commentators compared "Sleeping with the One I Love" to Ben E. King's 1963 single "I (Who Have Nothing)", James Brown's 1966 song "It's a Man's Man's Man's World", and Shirley Bassey's music, while Fantasia herself found similarities with her own 2005 single "Free Yourself".

Critics responded positively to "Sleeping with the One I Love", praising Fantasia's vocals and her collaboration with R. Kelly. It peaked at number seven on the Adult R&B Songs Billboard chart for the week of July 2, 2017. It was Fantasia tenth top-ten entry, and the second of the album's two top 20 singles, with "No Time for It" (2016) being the first. Fantasia performed the song during a July 28, 2016 concert broadcast on BET and the Fantasia & Anthony Hamilton: Live in Concert. A music video, directed by Derek Blanks, was released on June 26, 2016. Inspired by the American comedy-drama series Orange Is the New Black, the visual features Fantasia playing various characters in their pursuit of love while incarcerated. It received positive feedback from media outlets.

Background and recording[edit]

An image of R. Kelly standing on a red carpet and doing a hand sign towards the camera.
The single was written and produced by R. Kelly.

While recording her fifth studio album The Definition Of... (2016), Fantasia sought to have more creative control over her music and image. Frustrated with the amount of record label interference in the past, she described executives' plans to determine her sound and style as "prostituting the artist’s gift", and wanted to avoid such influences for the album.[1][2] Fantasia explained that the album would expand on the "rock soul" sound that she introduced on her previous release Side Effects of You (2013). She had defined "rock soul" as covering multiple style of music, describing it as an attempt to combine her soulful childhood singing in church with "a certain side of [her] that wants to tap into that whole rock world".[3]

"Sleeping with the One I Love" was written and produced by R. Kelly.[4] During the early stages of production for The Definition Of..., Fantasia posted several videos on her social media accounts of her recording sessions with Kelly. In promotional interviews, Fantasia said that the album was initially produced by another artist who she “really, really, really loved", but she switched to a different team for the final product.[1][2] She explained: "Sometimes, when you work with producers who are artists, it’s very hard, They are doing their thing … and things got a little chaotic.” Derrick G. Kennedy of the Los Angeles Times speculated that Kelly was the producer mentioned by Fantasia.[2]

The instrumental parts of the song were recorded by Thomas Carillo at the Kennedy Compound in Hollywood. Fantasia's vocals, produced and arranged by Ron Fair, were engineered by Fair and Pat Thrall at Faircraft Studios in Brentwood, California. Abel Garibaldi and Ian Mereness provided additional programming and engineering for the track. Dan Higgins arranged the horn section, which was engineered by Fair and John Schacter. Donnie Lylie provided additional music direction and played the guitar for the instrumental, while Steve Genewick handled the engineering for the string portion.[4]

Composition and lyrics[edit]

Described as a "vintage-y soul ballad with jazz elements" by Kevin Apaza of Direct Lyrics,[5] "Sleeping with the One I Love" is composed in the key of D-sharp minor and has a tempo of 65 beats per minute.[6] Singersroom's Elle Breezy wrote that the single was a "heavy blues tune", and represented how Fantasia "rock soul" sound would encompass various musical genres.[7] AllMusic's Andy Kellman called the song "a spacious, retro-styled ballad",[8] and The Boombox's Amber McKynzie described it as "sultry ode to 60s soul".[9] The Tampa Bay Times' Jay Cridlin equated the single to "five minutes of slow-burning flame".[10] Elias Leight of Vogue felt that "Sleeping with the One I Love" was "one of the more unusual songs on radio at the moment" as it did not contain strong hip hop elements, and compared it to Shirley Bassey's music.[11]

"Sleeping with the One I Love" revolves around Fantasia feeling torn between the stability of her boyfriend and the sensual pleasures of her lover.[5] According to Wanda J. Coppage of Music Times, the lyrics focus on "the story of a woman in search of love, but she seems to find it with the wrong type of men".[12] Throughout the single, Fantasia "candidly and guiltlessly" discusses her affair by singing: "I’m sleeping with the man I love because the one I’m with just ain’t good enough.”[7] In the verses, Fantasia sings about her conflict with choosing between the two men, through lyrics such as: “Yes, I've tried to shake it off, and I even tried to pray / But I'm still waking up in a bed that don't belong to me”.[5] She expresses pain with the lyrics "See my baby's like a dream, but the other man, he haunts me".[8] Other lyrics also include: "I'm still waking up in a bed that don't belong to me...I thought about the cost, but it's a price I'm willing to pay."[13]

Breezy questioned if the song's content was inspired by Fantasia's past affair with a married man.[7] The singer explained that the single was about self-love, saying: "My song talks about all the bad relationships but I'm grateful for going through them."[12][14] Fantasia compared "Sleeping with the One I Love" to her 2005 single "Free Yourself", explaining that they both have "that gritty, bluesy feeling".[15] Amber McKynzie described the main theme of the song as "what it’s like to love hard and not get the same love in return".[9] Centric's Gerren Keith Gaynor felt that Fantasia was channeling James Brown's 1966 song "It's a Man's Man's Man's World".[13]

Release[edit]

On May 27, 2016, "Sleeping with the One I Love" was released as the second single from The Definition Of.... Apaza described it as "the latest countdown single",[5] as two promotional singles ("Ugly" and "So Blue") were also made available prior to the album's release.[16][17]

RCA Records executives had initially chosen "When I Met You" (2016) to be the album's second single, but Fantasia had disagreed with the label's decision, preferring to release "Sleeping with the One I Love" instead. The singer said that RCA did not want to promote the song as they felt it was "too churchy", but she had responded: "No, it’s the next single. I’m the one out here on stages and connecting with the people." She proceeded to conduct polls during a series of radio interviews, asking listeners to choose which track they wanted to be released. Ultimately, they voted for "Sleeping with the One I Love", which was released as the second single instead of "When I Met You".[18] "When I Met You" would later be released as the record's third and final single on January 17, 2017.[19]

Reception[edit]

"Sleeping with the One I Love" received positive feedback from music critics. Apaza praised the single for showcasing Fantasia's vocals, writing that the singer had "out-of-this-world vocals and a grandiose emotion that will leave any listener mesmerized and in awe".[5] Breezy felt that the single was based on a "juicy concept".[7] Both Apaza and Breezy wrote that they were looking forward to Fantasia performing the song live.[5][7] Amber McKynzie selected it as one of the album's top five tracks,[9] and Gerren Keith Gaynor wrote that it "t[ook] story telling to new height", calling the song "soul-stirring".[13] Jay Cridlin listed "Sleeping with the One I Love" as one of the top 25 songs of 2016, writing that Fantasia "cuts loose on a confident and expansive chunk of retro soul".[10] In Entertainment Weekly, Chuck Arnold identified the song as one of the album's "key tracks".[20] Andy Kellman praised her collaboration with R. Kelly as the "most pairing", writing that the song included lyrics that "she was born to sing".[8] Sarah Grant of Rolling Stone felt that Kelly had helped Fantasia achieve her "rock soul" sound by "put[ting] her yowl to work on the excellent, chiseled single".[21]

The single was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Performance at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards, but lost to Lalah Hathaway's 2015 single "Angel".[22] Even though he wanted William Bell's 2016 song "The Three of Me" to win the award, Billboard's Carl Wilson wrote that "it’s too bad it’s at the expense of, among others, Fantasia’s terrific 'Sleeping With the One I Love'".[23] The track also received a nomination for the BET Centric Award at the BET Awards 2017, but lost to Solange Knowles' 2016 single "Cranes in the Sky".[24]

"Sleeping with the One I Love" debuted at number 21 on the Adult R&B Songs Billboard chart for the week of July 2, 2017. It peaked at number seven during the week of November 26, 2016, and stayed on the chart for a total of 13 weeks.[25] It was Fantasia tenth top-ten entry,[26] and the second of the album's two top 20 singles; "No Time for It" (2016) was the first.[27]

Music video and promotion[edit]

Prior to the music video's release, Fantasia posted several images of herself in costume as three fictional women (Brenda, Pauletta and Rox) on her official Instagram account. For each image, she explained the women's background, and expounded on the concept for the overall visual.[12] The characters include a seductress and a woman who Gerren Keith Gaynor compared to Cleopatra "Cleo" Sims from the 1996 film Set It Off.[28]

Premiering directly after the BET Awards 2016 telecast on June 26, 2016,[12][29] the video features the women's struggles with love as they all pursue the attention of a prison guard.[12][30] Directed by Derek Blanks, it was inspired by the American comedy-drama series Orange Is the New Black, and shows the guard "playing them all".[30] According to a press release from RCA, Fantasia "portrays multiple characters in a compelling plot twist" in the video.[29] Eeshé White of The Boombox summarized the video as: "Fantasia appears to be in prison, and is battling with herself."[31] The visual includes a scene in which all of the characters fight one another.[28] It received positive reviews from media outlets. Breezy called the video "intriguing",[30] while Gerren Keith Gaynor described it as a "creative take" on the song.[28]

Fantasia performed "Sleeping with the One I Love" alongside "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" during a July 28, 2016 concert broadcast on BET,[32][33] the first in a series of live concerts on the cable channel.[34] She had also included it as the final song on her set list for Fantasia & Anthony Hamilton: Live in Concert (2016).[35][36]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download[37]
No.TitleLength
1."Sleeping with the One I Love"5:03

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of The Definition Of... .[4]

Management
Recording locations
  • Music recording – Kennedy Compound (Hollywood); Faircraft Studios (Brentwood)
Personnel

Charts[edit]

Chart (2016) Peak
position
US Adult R&B Songs (Billboard)[38] 7

Release history[edit]

Region Format Date Label
United States May 26, 2016 Digital download[39]
June 6, 2016 Urban adult contemporary[40]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Fantasia On "The Definition Of..."". AOL. July 28, 2016. Archived from the original on August 18, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Kennedy, Gerrick D. (August 13, 2016). "Fantasia is in control, and finally happy: 'I'm the definition of strength'". Los Angeles Times. Tronc. Archived from the original on July 10, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Fantasia Q&A: 'Still Full of Joy' Ten Years In, Fifth Album & 'After Midnight'". Billboard. June 8, 2014. Archived from the original on April 25, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c The Definition Of... 19 Recordings, RCA (Inlay cover). Fantasia. July 29, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Apaza, Kevin (May 27, 2016). "Fantasia Is In For A Tough Decision In "Sleeping With The One I Love" [New Song / Stream]". DirectLyrics. Archived from the original on October 31, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Sleeping With The One I Love – Original Mix". Beatport. June 29, 2013. Archived from the original on August 18, 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Breezy, Elle (May 27, 2016). "Fantasia Releases Bluesy Single, 'Sleeping With The One I Love'". Singersroom. Archived from the original on July 30, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c Kellman, Andy (July 29, 2016). "AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman". AllMusic. Archived from the original on December 30, 2016. 
  9. ^ a b c McKynzie, Amber (July 29, 2016). "Top 5 Tracks on Fantasia's 'The Definition Of…'". The Boombox. AOL. Archived from the original on December 30, 2016. 
  10. ^ a b Cridlin, Jay (December 27, 2016). "Best of 2016: The 25 best songs of the year, from Beyonce to Rihanna to Sia (with playlist)". Tampa Bay Times. Times Publishing Company. Archived from the original on December 29, 2016. 
  11. ^ Leight, Elias (July 22, 2016). "Fantasia on Her New Album and Not Being Afraid to Do It Her Way". Vogue. Condé Nast. Retrieved August 18, 2017. 
  12. ^ a b c d e Coppage, Wanda J. (June 27, 2016). "Fantasia's 'Sleeping With The One I Love' Video Premiere After BET Awards". Music Times. Archived from the original on August 18, 2017. 
  13. ^ a b c Gaynor, Gerren Keith (May 27, 2016). "New Music: Fantasia – 'Sleeping With The One I Love' – Centric TV". Centric. Archived from the original on October 8, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Fantasia Shares Why She Has "No Time For It" In The Definition Of… Album". WHUR-FM. June 9, 2016. Archived from the original on August 18, 2017. 
  15. ^ Davis, Rachaell (August 22, 2016). "Fantasia Opens The Door For Love & Healing In 'The Definition Of'". Essence. Time Inc. Archived from the original on July 14, 2017. 
  16. ^ Apaza, Kevin (April 6, 2016). "Fantasia Goes Country With New Single "Ugly": Take A Listen!". Directlyrics. Archived from the original on June 11, 2016. 
  17. ^ Apaza, Kevin (April 21, 2016). "World Premiere: Fantasia – "So Blue" [Full Audio + Review]". Directlyrics. Archived from the original on July 27, 2016. 
  18. ^ Kennedy, Gerrick D. (December 6, 2016). "Fantasia had to push her label to release her Grammy-nominated single". Los Angeles Times. Tronc. Archived from the original on December 7, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Future Releases". All Access Music Group. January 17, 2017. Archived from the original on January 4, 2017. 
  20. ^ Arnold, Chuck (July 27, 2016). "Fantasia's The Definition Of…: EW Review". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Archived from the original on July 28, 2016. 
  21. ^ Grant, Sarah (August 10, 2016). "How R. Kelly Inspired Fantasia's Triumphant Rock-Soul Return". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on August 10, 2016. 
  22. ^ Martinelli, Marissa (February 12, 2017). "Here's Your List of 2017 Grammy Winners". Slate. The Slate Group. Archived from the original on April 1, 2017. 
  23. ^ Wilson, Carl; Rosen, Jody (February 2, 2017). "F2017 Grammy Predictions: Who Will Win vs. Who Should Win". Billboard. Eldridge Industries. Archived from the original on February 17, 2017. 
  24. ^ Workneh, Lilly (June 25, 2017). "Here Are All The Winners Of The 2017 BET Awards". HuffPost. Oath Inc. Archived from the original on July 23, 2017. 
  25. ^ "Chart Search". Billboard Adult R&B Songs for Fantasia. Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. 
  26. ^ Mendizabal, Amaya (August 11, 2016). "Fantasia's 'Definition' Debuts at No. 1 on R&B Albums Chart". Billboard. Archived from the original on August 12, 2016. 
  27. ^ Caulfield, Keith (August 7, 2016). "DJ Khaled Earns His First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart With 'Major Key'". Billboard. Archived from the original on August 12, 2016. 
  28. ^ a b c Gaynor, Gerren Keith (June 28, 2016). "New Video: Fantasia – Sleeping with the One I Love". Centric. Archived from the original on September 5, 2016. 
  29. ^ a b "Grammy Award Winner Fantasia Releases Music Video For "Sleeping With The One I Love" – "The Definition Of…" Available Everywhere 7/29". RCA Records. June 28, 2016. Archived from the original on August 14, 2017. 
  30. ^ a b c Breezy, Elle (June 28, 2016). "Fantasia Channels 'OITNB' & Plays Multiple Characters In 'Sleeping With The One I Love' Video". Singersroom. Archived from the original on September 16, 2016. 
  31. ^ White, Eeshé (August 11, 2016). "Fantasia's Latest Album 'The Definition Of…' Debuts at No. 1 on R&B Albums Chart". The Boombox. Townsquare Media. Archived from the original on August 18, 2017. 
  32. ^ The Definition Of... Fantasia (TV special). United States: BET. July 28, 2016. 
  33. ^ Craddock, Lauren (July 25, 2016). "Fantasia Delivers Career-Spanning Performance for BET Concert Special". Billboard. Eldridge Industries. Archived from the original on December 30, 2016. 
  34. ^ Coppage, Wanda J (August 2, 2016). "Fantasia Performs for BET Live Concert, Talks New Album & Overcoming Suicidal Thoughts". Music Times. Archived from the original on August 3, 2016. 
  35. ^ Argyrakis, Andy (April 23, 2016). "Fantasia starts a fire, Anthony Hamilton calms the flames and both drop the ball on Prince tribute". Chicago Concert Reviews. Archived from the original on August 18, 2017. 
  36. ^ Brownlee, Bill (June 11, 2016). "Fantasia, Anthony Hamilton perform uplifting soul at Starlight Theatre". The Kansas City Star. The McClatchy Company. Archived from the original on June 15, 2016. 
  37. ^ "Fantasia – Sleeping with the One I Love MP3 music downloads – 7digital". Ca.7digital.com. May 27, 2016. Archived from the original on August 18, 2017. 
  38. ^ "Fantasia Chart History (Adult R&B Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 19, 2016.
  39. ^ "Fantasia Drops 'Sleeping with the One I Love". RTTNews. May 28, 2016. Archived from the original on July 1, 2016. 
  40. ^ Fleming, Kevin (June 1, 2016). "Fantasia "Sleeping with the One I Love"". The Urban Buzz. Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. 

External links[edit]